Happy Easter! Here at International House it was a joyous holiday complete with a trip to Sydney, egg decorating, and an egg hunt. On Easter morning, people were dashing to and fro on the first floor of the building, searching the nooks and crannies for little brightly colored chocolate tin foil eggs. Someone even sported a one piece pajama outfit for the event. I only found six eggs but I raced against another Australian for the slightly larger, yellow egg placed next to the globe outside the front door. I was in a dress and slightly closer to the ground compared to my adversary but was able to obtain the egg! Victory is sweet!
For the past few weeks I have been trying to find a balance between all of the demands of being a college student in a foreign country. Of course there are academics, physical requirements such as sleep and exercise, socializing with friends and people back home, spiritual habits, and financial limitations which can make handling all of them somewhat stressful.
For the past two weeks, academics have taken priority in my schedule and I was not able to exercise, sleep, or socialize as much as I would have liked. This happened as a result of not being aware of all of assignment deadlines. I am not mentally on top of my game here in Australia and did not realize the build up of papers, tests, presentations were due within a short amount of time. It was my fault since I volunteered to give the first presentation in one of my classes while forgetting I had a number of other things due at the same time while underestimating what the presentation entailed. In the end I successfully completed everything and now do not have another assignment for that one class for some time. Also, now I am acutely aware of the deadlines for my future papers. I certainly have learned from my blunders!
Not many people have been experiencing what I have in regards to academics. I have been working really hard whereas other students do not have as many assessments. I believe the work load depends on the classes chosen while studying abroad. It does not necessarily correlate with the level of the class though; my 100 level course is more demanding than my 200 level course.
Meanwhile, I have been squeezing in Australian adventures between my classwork. After I turned in my last assignment for the week, I indulged in a victory nap then spent the rest of the night with friends. In between those two highly academic weeks, IFSA Butler took my fellow students in the program and me on a Country Life Weekend. It was a very enjoyable experience! It was very relaxing, provided another perspective of life in Australia, offered fun activities such as a bonfire and interacting with animals, and enabled me to catch up on some sleep (which helped me gain an advantage over a cold I have been fighting). Sleep and exercise have been pushed to the side but now that I have more time, I am happily experiencing them again. It all comes down to balance. I believe it is ok to temporarily let the demands of one side take the priority but not to monopolize life. Now I am more balanced.
Going for a drive during Country Life Weekend
Running at North Wollongong Beach
Life in Australia is still wonderful. Over the Easter weekend I have fulfilled one of my goals while studying abroad: seeing a live platypus! I saw two at the Sydney Aquarium! They were about a foot long, very energetic, and surprisingly graceful in the water. It was so awesome and experiences such as this make me grateful for the opportunity to be living in Australia.
Just keep swimming!
Akward Aquarium Photo